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John Kinzer
IU Department of Theatre and Drama

Last modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sex and intrigue take the stage as IU Theatre opens spring season with 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses'

WHAT: "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" by Christopher Hampton, based on the novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Directed by Nancy Lipschultz.
WHERE: All performances take place at the Wells-Metz Theatre, Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave. No photography or recording of any kind is permitted during performances.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Feb 3, 4 and 7-10; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11
TICKETS: Regular admission is $25 for adults, $15 for students, $20 for senior citizens; student rush tickets are $10 cash with a valid IU Bloomington student ID on the day of each performance.
NOTE: "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" contains mature content, including nudity.

Jan. 18, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The "dangerous liaisons" in Christopher Hampton's play have more deceit and intrigue than a Hollywood marriage. The award-winning drama "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" continues IU Theatre's 2011-12 season, opening Friday, Feb. 3, and continuing through Feb. 11 in the Wells-Metz Theatre.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

The vengeful Marquise de Merteuil, played by third-year M.F.A. acting student Molly Casey, and the Vicomte de Valmont, played by first-year M.F.A. acting student Adam St. John, appear in the IU Theatre production of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" opening in the Wells-Metz Theatre on Feb. 3.

Print-Quality Photo

Based on the 1782 novel of the same name by French author Choderlos de Laclos, "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" exposes the manipulations and machinations of the Vicomte de Valmont, a man with an appetite for seducing women, and the Marquise de Merteuil, a lady bent on a particular kind of vengeance. First produced in England by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1985, "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" received the Lawrence Olivier Award for best play. On Broadway, it was nominated for a Tony Award in the same category. The 1988 film adaptation won three Academy Awards and was nominated for four others including best film.

In her directorial debut for IU Theatre, Nancy Lipschultz explains how this story of seduction, corruption and revenge among the upper classes continues to captivate audiences.

"We have always been fascinated by celebrities behaving badly," she said. "In 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' we see not only the bad behavior, but the way in which people with less power are used and discarded as collateral damage without so much as a thought. "

At the heart of the play is an examination of the way a lie can be spun and the ultimate consequences of such intrigue.

"The characters present a lie as if it is the honest truth," Lipschultz said. "And they are committed to see their schemes through all the way to the end, no matter what the cost is."

The cast of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" features third-year M.F.A. acting student Molly Casey (performing her thesis role) as Merteuil and first-year M.F.A. acting student Adam St. John as Valmont. Joining them are senior Tyler Gordon as Major Domo; sophomore Courtney Lucien as Cecile de Volanges; doctoral candidate Sean McCarther as Azolan; first-year M.F.A. acting student Andrea Mellos as Madame de Tourvel; doctoral candidate Johanna Moffitt as Madame de Rosemonde; senior Erin Mills as Madame de Volanges; senior Hana Slevin as Emilie; senior Leslie Spitznagel as a maid; junior Megan Taub as a maid; and senior Ross Van Dongen as Danceny.

Lipschultz's creative team includes first-year M.F.A. lighting designer Lee Burckes ("In the Next Room, or the vibrator play"); first-year M.F.A. scenic designer Lauren Ayn Lusk (her debut design for IU Theatre); third-year M.F.A. costume design student Colleen Alexis Metzger (designing her thesis project); guest artist Michael Johnson (fight choreographer); guest artist Nira Pullin (movement specialist); and junior sound designer Jake Wiener.